Before you do anything else, please read the comments on tonight's game preview at Anaheim Calling and note that some Ducks fans are nervous about playing the Flames. Hilarious.
Also the Ducks won't be wearing their throwback jerseys tonight, which makes me sad.
Anyway, the Flames roll into the Honda Center tonight boasting a two-game winning streak after matching 3-2 victories over the Habs and the Devils last week, and like always, they can expect to be challenged by Anaheim's strong first line and forward depth.
The Flames, who are still missing Mike Cammalleri, Matt Stajan, David Jones and possibly Mikael Backlund, who is listed as questionable for tonight's game with a hand injury, will surely be in tough against the likes of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Dustin Penner and Teemu Selanne. Considering Ben Street is again listed as the team's first line center, top six versus top six is a battle I'm willing to bet the Flames will lose tonight, especially if Backlund does indeed sit this one out. (Update: According to Roger Millions, Backlund will play).
The Ducks' bottom two lines are nothing to sneeze at either. Altogether, Anaheim fired 56(!) shots at the Ottawa Senators cage in their 4-1 win on Sunday evening, and the team leader was defenceman Sami Vatanen. Yeah. That's going to be a problem for the Flames, who have had trouble limiting their opposition's shots on Joey MacDonald early in the season.
The good news for the Flames is that, despite their struggles to contain shots on goal and to keep the puck out of their net, they have also been able to keep up offensively and to out-score their opponents, which was not the case on many occasions last year. In three games against the Ducks in 2012-13, the Flames scored just seven times while allowing ten goals against.
The other good news? Ducks goalie Viktor Fasth, who appears to be tonight's starter, has not been much better in net than his counterpart Joey MacDonald. Fasth is sporting an EV SV% of .868 and a GAA of 4.00. MacDonald has allowed just four goals in his past two starts.